The Way I Approach Music

Everybody has music in them. Some of us simply MUST get it out, and we need the tools to do so effectively and efficiently — and joyfully. Acquiring and honing new  skills gives you more power to create the sounds you want to make.

Because I’ve been involved with so many kinds of music and so many performing situations, my approach is not simply “classical lessons” or “jazz lessons” or “theater music lessons” — it is showing and teaching music through a broader lens. Whether your goal is to play professionally, to perform well in a competition, or simply to enhance your enjoyment of listening to music, my goal is to meet you where you are and help you get to where you want to go. Deepening your understanding of music fundamentals will improve your execution of what you want to hear. You’re on a different journey from anyone else. I see myself as a partner and a guide to you on that journey, whether you’re a beginner or a working professional.

While I tailor my approach to each student’s skills and learning style, there are common threads throughout our weekly, hour-long lessons:

  • The importance of preparation — skills needed in every subject of study
  • Respect for the learning process at all stages
  • Kindness to oneself even while striving for improvement
  • Pride in accomplishment, leading to more growth
I have worked with Jo Ann for almost 20 years. I have witnessed her piano performing at the highest of levels. We played together on various Broadway productions in Chicago and Columbus. I was lucky to get Jo Ann to Capital University, where I was teaching at the time, and saw another side of her musicianship as an educator. Her teaching is as sophisticated as her professional career…
Rob Parton, University of North Texas
My wife and I have been thrilled with Jo Ann as a piano teacher for our daughter. As an 11 year old, she is starting to shut down certain ideas prescribed by Mom and Dad. However, Jo Ann’s courses have happily held her interest. The classes are the perfect combination of discipline, music theory and light-hearted fun. We hope the lessons go on forever!
Robby Celestin, private student parent